The word ‘herbarium’ (or ‘herbaria’ in plural) was originally used in reference to a book about medicinal plants. The term was then used by Tournefort (c. 1700) to describe a collection of dried plants [1]. In modern utilization of the term, it refers to a systematic, permanent physical record of a plant’s occurrence at a specific time and place. It acts as a repository or collections of preserved plant and fungal specimens and their associated data (description of when, where, and who collected the specimen) with various functions such as to carry out studies of plant classification, identification, distribution, and ecology. In other words, it makes plant specimens available out of season [2][3][4][5].


  1. Bridson D, Forman L, eds. The Herbarium Handbook (Revised Edition). London: Royal Botanic Gardens; 1992.
  2. Australian National Botanic Garden. Australian National Herbarium. [homepage on the Internet] Canberra: Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research; c2011 [updated 2016 Jul 4; cited 2021 Feb 09]. Available from:
  3. Royal Botanic Garden Victoria. Herbarium and Resources. [homepage on the Internet]. c2020. [cited 2021 Feb 09]. Available from:
  4. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The Herbarium [homepage on the Internet]. London: Kew Gardens [cited 2021 Feb 09]. Available from:
  5. Department of Biology. The Dr. Laurie L. Consaul Herbarium. [homepage on the Internet] Ontario: Western University; c1878-2021 [cited 2021 Feb 09]. Available from: